Young Farmers Association

It was a pleasure to meet with representatives of the Young Farmers Association.  The group raised issues about the future of farming in NSW and discussed concerns about coal seam gas, corporate buy up of farms and the loss of community.  The meeting also provided an opportunity to discuss areas of interest including the food security, the growth of the organic agriculture sector and the management of  biodiversity.  I informed them about the success on the far north coast of biodiversity and farming land management practices, community support for farmers markets and my experience of being on the Ministerial Advisory Council for Organic Agriculture.

BANKSTOWN INCOME MANAGEMENT PILOT QWN

Ms Barham to the Minister for Finance and Services, and Minister for the Illawarra representing the Minister for Family and Community Services, and Minister for Women—

  1. What arrangements or agreements are in place between the Department of Family and Community Services and Centrelink to provide information about people living in Bankstown who have been referred to the Department?
  2. What class or type of referral to the Department will qualify a person, living in the Bankstown area receiving Federal Government welfare benefits, for income management?
  3. What community and social service programs currently funded by the Department are located in the Bankstown area? Please provide a complete list.
  4. What percentage of people referred to the Department living in the Bankstown area are receiving early intervention programs including Brighter Futures?

 

Answer—

  1. Bilateral negotiations have commenced with NSW Government and Commonwealth officials meeting to plan the implementation of the trial. These negotiations will include information sharing arrangements between the Department of Family and Community Services and Centrelink.  
  2. The Commonwealth has stated targeted income management will apply to vulnerable families and individuals including parents referred for income management by state or territory child protection authorities; people assessed by Centrelink social workers as being vulnerable to financial crisis, which could include people referred by public housing authorities because they are at risk of homelessness due to rental arrears; and people who volunteer for income management.
  3. In 2010-11, Community Services provided funding under the following funding programs in the Bankstown LGA:
    Community Services Grants Program: $1,615,845
    Children’s Services Program: $2,043,463
    Early Intervention Program: $2,889,438
    Keep Them Safe: $45,000
    Out-of-Home Care: $2,456,301
    Supported Accommodation Assistance Program: $2,097,294
    Strengthening Communities:  $2,137,969
    Total: $13,285,310
  4. The Department of Family and Community Services does not collect data on this basis.

PROCESSING CLAIMS UNDER THE ABORIGINAL LAND RIGHTS ACT 1983 QoN

Ms Barham to the Minister for Police and Emergency Services, Minister for the Hunter, and Vice-President of the Executive Council representing the Minister for Citizenship and Communities, and Minister for Aboriginal Affairs—

  1. How many claims are currently to be assessed under the Aboriginal Land Rights Act 1983?
    1. Are there performance targets in place for processing claims and transferring legal title?
    2. If so:
      1. What are the targets?
      2. Have these targets been reached?

 

Answer—

  1. Under Section 36 (1) of the Aboriginal Land Rights Act 1983, the responsibility for determining land claims made by Aboriginal Land Councils under the Aboriginal Land Rights Act 1983 (ALRA) rests with the Minister or Ministers, administering the Crown Lands Act 1989. 
    This question should be referred to the Minister for Regional Infrastructure and Services and the Minister for Primary Industries as these matters fall within their portfolio responsibilities.
  2. This question should be referred to the Minister for Regional Infrastructure and Services and the Minister for Primary Industries as these matters fall within their portfolio responsibilities.

SHORT AND SWEET THEATRE QoN

Ms Barham to the Minister for Police and Emergency Services, Minister for the Hunter, and Vice-President of the Executive Council representing the Minister for Tourism Major Events Hospitality and Racing, and Minister for the Arts—

  1. What is the 2010-11 Arts NSW funding allocation for the Short and Sweet Theatre?
    1. Has the Minister for the Arts or the Minister’s office made any representations to the Short and Sweet Theatre?
    2. If so, what was the nature of these representations?
  2. Will the proposed increases in funding allocations for the Short and Sweet Theatre be from the recurrent Arts NSW budget?

 

Answer—

  1. Short + Sweet is a multi-artform organisation. Short + Sweet did not receive any funding in 2010⁄11. An auspiced grant of $25,000 was provided to Short + Sweet Dance in 2010⁄11.
  2.  
    1. No.
    2. Not applicable.
  3. The Short + Sweet allocation will be included in the Department of Trade & Investment, Regional Infrastructure & Services budget.

NORTH COAST ACCOMMODATION TRUST QoN

Ms Barham to the Minister for Roads and Ports representing the Minister for Primary Industries, and Minister for Small Business—

  1. What is the North Coast Accommodation Trust?
    1. Does the Trust have a board?
    2. If so, who are the Trust Manager and board members associated with the Trust?
  2. What relationship does the Trust and the relevant government agencies have with North Coast caravan parks?
  3. What land is managed by the North Coast Accommodation Trust?

 

Answer—

  1. The North Coast Accommodation Trust is the appointed trustee of the Crown reserves on the north coast of NSW listed hereunder [4].
  2.  
    1. No
    2. The trust manager is administrator Jim Bolger.
  3. Some of the reserves managed by this Trust include caravan parks which are licensed under the Local Government Act.
  4. The Crown reserves managed by this Trust are:
    • Reserve 8920 for pilot station at Yamba.
    • Reserve 49122 for public recreation and preservation of native flora at Byron Bay.
    • part Reserve 55008 for public recreation at Corindi Beach.
    • Reserve 64933 public recreation and resting place at Moonee Beach.
    • part Reserve 64746 for public recreation and resting place at Red Rock.
    • Reserve 74701 for public recreation at Brunswick Heads.
    • Reserve 75324 for future public requirements at Taloumbi.
    • Reserve 75925 for public recreation at Ballina.
    • part Reserve 82783 for public recreation at Lennox Head.
    • part Reserve 84107 for public recreation and resting place at Ballina.
    • part Reserve 84696 for public buildings at Grafton.
    • Reserve 89602 for girl guides at South Grafton. Reserve 82999 for public recreation and resting place at Brunswick Heads.
    • Reserve 91536 for caravan and camping park at Brunswick Heads.
    • Reserve 140026 for public recreation and preservation of native flora at Yamba.
    • Reserve 140081 for accommodation and caravan park at Nambucca Heads.
    • Reserve 1003022 for environmental protection at Moonee Beach.
    • part Reserve 1012196 for access, public requirements, rural services, tourism purposes and environmental and heritage conservation at Brunswick Heads.
    • Reserve 1013529 for tourist facilities and services at Byron Bay.
    • Reserve 76856 for camping and public recreation at North Haven.
    • Reserve 83995 for camping and public recreation at North Haven.
    • Part Reserve 81643 for public recreation at Bonny Hills.

COMPLAINTS UNDER THE COMMUNITY SERVICES (COMPLAINTS, REVIEW AND MONITORING) ACT 1993 QoN

Ms Barham to the Minister for Finance and Services, and Minister for the Illawarra representing the Minister for Ageing, and Minister for Disability Services—

  1. How many people or service providers have been found guilty of an offence under Section 47 of the Community Services (Complaints, Review and Monitoring) Act 1993?
  2. What action has Ageing, Disability and Home Care (ADHC), under the Department of Family and Community Services, taken to make clients of ADHC and non-government service providers aware of their right to be free from threats of retribution?
    1. Has ADHC through its internal complaints handling mechanism received allegations of threats of retaliation?
    2. If so, what course of action is ADHC required to take?

 

Answer—

  1. Ageing, Disability and Home Care (ADHC) is not aware of any people or service providers who have been found guilty of an offence under Section 47 of the Community Services (Complaints, Review and Monitoring) Act 1993.
  2. ADHC’s current Feedback and Complaint Handling Principles and Guidelines (2005) indicates that “all parties to a complaint should have the opportunity to have his or her say, without fear of a negative reaction or victimisation”. 
    In addition, ADHC’s publication, ‘Standards in Action – Practice requirements and Guidelines for services funded under the Disability Service Act’ provides in its minimum practice requirements a similar standard for practice. 
    ADHC’s revised Community Complaints Policy will strengthen the principles regarding threats and retribution such that: 
    “ADHC will treat complainants with respect and will ensure that complainants (and other parties to the complaint) are not subject to harassment or discrimination, are free from threats of retribution or disadvantaged as a result of having made a complaint.” 
    The policy statement and principles will be included on the complaints section of ADHC’s internet site, within revised brochures for clients, non–government service providers and other stakeholders. A communication strategy will be developed to promulgate the revised policy in the second half of 2011.
  3.  
    1. No
    2. Allegations of threats of retaliation would be treated as a breach of policy ⁄ Code of Conduct under Chapter 9 of the ‘Public Sector Employment and Management Act’ 2002 and action would be taken in accordance with ADHC’s processes for dealing with these matters. In addition if may be referred to the Law and Justice Directorate for prosecutorial consideration as an offence under the Act.

BOARDING HOUSE REFORM PROGRAM OFFICERS

Ms Barham to the Minister for Finance and Services, and Minister for the Illawarra representing the Minister for Ageing, and Minister for Disability Services—

  1. Are the Department of Family and Community Services’ Ageing, Disability and Home Care (ADHC) Boarding House Reform Program Case Managers and Licensing Officers separated?
  2. Are there clear protocols established for referrals to be made between Boarding House Reform Program Case Managers and Licensing Officers?
    1. Has ADHC implemented all recommendations of the NSW Ombudsman outlined in ‘DADHC Monitoring Standards in Boarding Houses. A special report to Parliament under s31 of the Ombudsman Act’?
    2. If not:
      1. Which recommendations has ADHC not implemented?
      2. What is the reason for ADHC not implementing the NSW Ombudsman’s recommendations?

 

Answer—

  1. AHDC Regions allocate resources according to local priorities and circumstances. Where the roles have been combined and performed by the same officers, this has been to allow for a flexible approach to situations such as boarding house closures. It also takes into account that licensing issues can have an effect on the well-being of the resident, and at times there can be an overlap between the two functions.
  2. Where different officers perform the licensing and casework functions they are still part of the same team and report to the same manager, and frequently work together. Whether the roles are separated or combined, in each region serious issues of non-compliance with the Regulation or Licence Conditions are escalated to management for resolution.
  3.  
    1. The Ombudsman’s Report made a number of findings as opposed to specific recommendations. All of these findings have been addressed, specifically:
      • The 2005 Regulation under the Youth and Community Services Act 1973 (YACS Act) was amended in May 2010, and remade in September as the 2010 Regulation, with new provisions including requirements for one staff member on duty to have a first aid certificate, and for safe medication administration and record keeping. The Regulation has clarified the obligations of proprietors. Further reform of the boarding house sector, including boarding houses not currently licensed under the YACS Act, is currently under consideration.
      • Licensed boarding houses are monitored on a six to eight weekly basis and Full Service Reviews of each premises occur once every three years. Ageing, Disability and Home Care’s (ADHC) Central Office monitors data from regions regarding this.
      • Caseworkers specifically for licensed boarding houses are employed to plan and co-ordinate services for residents.
      • Training for regional staff involved in licensed boarding houses occurred in November 2009 and June 2011. Formal training did not occur in 2010 as the focus was on revising the Regulation as well as updating and revising the relevant policies and procedures to support that. In addition to formal training, quarterly meetings occur between the relevant ADHC Central Office policy team and regional staff involved in licensed boarding houses.
      • The Licensing and Monitoring Policy was revised and updated in April 2011 and is available on the ADHC website with a range of supplementary documentation.
    2. See answer to 3 (a) – all findings have been addressed.

YOUNGER PEOPLE IN RESIDENTIAL AGED CARE PROGRAM

Ms Barham to the Minister for Finance and Services, and Minister for the Illawarra representing the Minister for Ageing, and Minister for Disability Services—

  1. How many people under fifty years of age are permanently living in a residential aged care facility in New South Wales?
  2. How many people under fifty years of age living in a residential aged care facility have been transferred to more appropriate accommodation under the Younger People in Residential Aged Care Program?
  3. How many young people with a disability have been diverted from entering a residential aged care facility under the Younger People in Residential Aged Care Program?

 

Answer—

  1. According to Australian Government data as at April 2011, there were 283 people aged under 50 years permanently living in a residential aged care facility in New South Wales.
  2. A total of 119 people aged under fifty years living in residential aged care facilities will be transferred to more appropriate accommodation under the NSW Younger People in Residential Aged Care Program. As at 8 June 2011:
    • 46 people aged under fifty have been supported to transfer from a residential aged care facility back into their homes or into supported accommodation under the Program;
    • an additional 40 people are in the process of transitioning out of a residential aged care facility and into the community; and
    • transition arrangements for an additional 33 people are currently being finalised.
  3. As at 8 June 2011, 113 younger people with a disability have been diverted from entering a residential aged care facility under the NSW Younger People in Residential Aged Care Program.

LIBRARY AMENDMENT BILL 2011 QoN

Ms Barham to the Minister for Police and Emergency Services, Minister for the Hunter, and Vice-President of the Executive Council representing the Minister for Tourism Major Events Hospitality and Racing, and Minister for the Arts—

  1. Did the State Library of NSW provide advice to the Minister for the Arts or the Department on the recently passed Library Amendment Bill 2011?
  2. if so, what advice was given?

 

Answer—

  1. Yes.
  2. The State Library of NSW was consulted in the preparation of the Bill and supported the proposal.

COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT AND SUPPORT EXPENDITURE SCHEME QoN

Ms Barham to the Minister for Police and Emergency Services, Minister for the Hunter, and Vice-President of the Executive Council representing the Minister for Tourism Major Events Hospitality and Racing, and Minister for the Arts—

  1. Has the Community Development and Support Expenditure (CDSE) Scheme Local Committee been established in every local government area where the category 1 CDSE liability for all participating clubs exceeds $30,000?
  2. How much has been expended on CDSE projects in the 2010⁄11 financial year to date?
  3. Does the Casino, Liquor and Gaming Control Authority provide annual reports on expenditure made under the CDSE scheme?
  4. How can members of the public access information on programs funded under the CDSE scheme?
  5. Which programs were funded under category 1 and 2 CDSE in the 2009⁄10 financial year? Please provide a list of all programs.
    1. Has the Casino, Liquor and Gaming Control Authority ever requested to see the minutes of a CDSE Scheme Local Committee?
    2. If so, under what circumstances have requests been made?

 

Answer—

  1. The CDSE Scheme Guidelines require CDSE local committees to be established in each local government area where the total CDSE Category 1 liability of local qualifying clubs is in excess of $30,000 in the tax year. There is no requirement for the Department of Trade and Investment to keep of a list of the local committees that have been established. ClubsNSW has this information on its website.
  2. Clubs that participate in the CDSE Scheme must submit their annual returns to the Casino, Liquor and Gaming Control Authority outlining their CDSE Expenditure by 7 September each year, one week after the end of the gaming machine tax year. The gaming machine tax year is from 1 September to 31 August. Therefore, expenditure figures for the 2010⁄11 tax year are not yet available. 
    For the gaming machine tax year ended 31 August 2010, registered clubs in NSW expended $63.5 million on projects and services under the CDSE Scheme, although only $38.2 could be claimed as a rebate under the scheme.
  3. Information about expenditure made under the CDSE Scheme is included in the Casino, Liquor and Gaming Control Authority’s annual report.
  4. and (5) There are legal restrictions imposed under the Gaming Machine Tax Act 2001 on the disclosure of gaming machine revenue and tax details. These restrictions apply to information about CDSE expenditure provided to the Casino, Liquor and Gaming Control Authority by registered clubs for the purposes of claiming a gaming machine tax rebate under the scheme. The Gaming Machine Tax Act prevents information relating to an individual club’s expenditure being released to the public, although clubs can choose to provide this information themselves. 
    (6) No.
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